Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Need to Blog It: 2nd Up; He was takin' out the trash ...

So here we are catching up on Halloween.  It was a memorable, fun Halloween.  Here in Arizona, I can never seem to get into the festive mood until say ... a couple of days before Halloween (after all, temps are at least in the 90s still...) ... and then sometimes, just sometimes I guess I really go for it.  Because this year, we went to a pumpkin patch, a neighborhood Halloween festival, went to/helped carry out our church Trunk or Treat party, made pumpkin soup (& the traditional pumpkin carving/pumpkin seeds), passed out candy to the smell & taste of apple cider & pumpkin bread on the scene, and dressed up to the nines, er, I mean zeros. 
You'll see ...
Wardrobe epitome of a 3 year old:  favorite Halloween shirt that lights up (= my least favorite, but it was okay when relevant - she continues to wear it once a week or so) AND a tutu. 
There is nothing more romantic than taking out the trash.
He is my janitor.  I am his trash. 
(except we both know, I ain't no trash)

You're welcome for the actor's theater rendition right there.
Cutest (but apparently worried?) 3 month old Jazzercise Instructor:
And happy Baby Ballerina ...
Happy little Tinkerbell ...
Pretty darn cute ...

Sexy stache complements of mutilated teddy bear fur from Goodwill children's section. 
Rat's nest hair complements of ... me.  (shoulda' seen the rats nest when trying to detangle it in the shower that night.  Scare-eee.! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh my sweet, Sweetie Pie

Dyllan.  Sweet, sweet Dyllan.  I'm not one to use the words 'sweet', 'precious' ... and those descriptive types ... (no hatin' if you do).  But sweet is just the best way to describe Dyllan.  She is so happy & easy going.  She shares her personality in a soft & endearing way.  She loves to smile at strangers, softly look away, and then look back & smile again.  She loves to talk (growl too) & we can't get enough of the sound of her voice.  I loved this age with Taya and I am again savoring it with Dyllan. 
A few more things about our little 7 month old (just barely) is that she has stayed in the 97% or so for length & started at 75% for weight, but dropped to 50% in weight by 6 months.  From what I can tell, she's just about got legs for days.  And she's still got her endearing little baldy head, my big floppy ears, & her angel's kiss on the forehead, which is fading some.  She eats solids, but we just barely slide that spoon into her mouth each time - she's mildly interested (though everything else goes into her mouth of course).  75% of the time, she pretty much hates being in the car, and she's a little stubborn in getting to sleep sometimes, & has a slight case of Mama's Girllitis, but the rest of the time, she is, well, like I said, as sweet as they come.  She gets up on her knees a little bit & will soon be rocking on all fours any day or week now.  She is also a little jumping bean!  Jumping, kicking ... maybe she'll love dance, track or soccer one day : )  Who knows. 
Still nothing gets her to smile or laugh more than one of our smiles & eye contact.  We love this little baby girl, and as my friend, Erin (Turley) would say 'She's a keeper!!'

As you can see, she (along with Taya) continue to be my most popular photo subjects. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bad Mom Fix

Fix for a day where you feel like your mothering has been less than desirable ....  make a food face!  
Flax see fro may or may not be eaten up by your 3 year old. Guaranteed to make 2 year olds laugh & 3 year olds smile. No satisfaction guarantee for children 5 & older.

Actually, I don't remember having any particular bad mom moments on that day, but I know when I make entertaining & fairly nutritious food for Taya, I temporarily feel a little more like wonder mom. 

And then we go back to normal.  And my head shrinks back down. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Need to Blog it: First Up? Christmas

I'll be doing some posts from 2010 that I just can't get out of my 'need to blog it' mindset.  So Christmas is the first. 
The first few photos are of a Christmas thank you dinner of sorts that we did.  It's always nice to be able to reuse the ol' wedding decorations (vases, twigs & falling berries) and feel resourceful!  We really enjoyed this & it added to the spirit of Christmas. 

My first try at Tirimisu (Mormon style, which means Pero & grape juice substitutes for the usual coffee & rum).  I was pretty proud of myself to be honest. 
(Whenever I hear or say the phrase 'to be honest', all I can think of is how my old boss told us commission only designers/salesmen not to use that phrase because it implies that at other times you're not being honest.  So I guess you can take this blog post & assume I am not being honest with you the rest of the time.  So really, we did not do a nice Christmas dinner, and those were not my wedding decorations.  Now you make up the real story for me ...
We were able to include various family traditions such as the meat dish, Rouladen, a Johnson family New Year's tradition.  And I loved being able to use my recently-found-again vintage goblets; a keepsake of mine from my Grandma & Grandpa on my dad's side. 
Now I just want to share some of our Christmas decorations & the photos I had fun taking of them.  I love being at home at Christmas time. 
My sister was paid this year to decorate an office lobby for the holidays ... I think that would be so fun. 

I love this painting below that we gifted ourselves in Christmas 2009; 'Jesus Washing Peter's Feet', by Ford Brown.  We bought the poster print & Paul cut it out with an exacto knife & shellacked it onto a 1.5" thick piece of MDF/wood. 

I straight out stole this photo idea from Jana's blog.  You did after all, tell us how to do it right Jana?

Ikea & Target ornaments (child proof too!) collected over a couple of different Christmases can still pull off a nice tree  : )

This piece has meaning to me because my parents gave it to me years before I was even married.  They bought it on a special tour to Jerusalem & Egypt.  Though I would love to somehow collect the rest of a nativity set to go with it.  Maybe I'll just have to make it to Jerusalem myself one day : )

Who needs fancy shmancy wrapping paper when you can have princess wrapping paper?!  ....
I'm like the rest of the trendy world & still love all things birds. 

That little painting above my kitchen table Christmas center piece is indeed of Taya if that's what you were wondering.  Paul painted that a year or so ago, inspired by the style of this artist that we've come to like.
Can't go wrong with cranberries in a vase of Trader Joe's Christmas flowers (well maybe you can if it's all starting to get old, and this one was in fact, ... but still, i'n't it perty?)
This photo below isn't Christmasy, but it was in my Christmas photo mix, and in loving memory of Taya's fish named 'Nemo Fishy', I am posting it.  He lived from her 2nd birthday past her 3rd Christmas. 
(According to my earlier blurb, maybe even this could be a lie though, what do you think?)
Taya's first reactions to her Christmas stocking, including her first true bike from Santa. 
(I'm actually a little lacking on Christmas pictures of Taya & Dyllan due to a combination of being too involved to stop & take pictures, as well as having been sick on Christmas, boo hoo).
Quick learner.  Proud dad.

And  to cap it off, check out this spectacularly crafty Nativity puppet set that Paul's sisters made & gave to us this year.  It's a great way to tell the Nativity story with little kids, and carries the tradition on from years past when Paul & his siblings used their own Nativity puppet set made by their talented mom. 

It was a great Christmas.  I soaked up every day of it being in our own home that we've worked so hard on over the years, knowing it was our last here.  Plus, having Taya be so thoroughly into it this year because of her age made me realize just how much I like Christmas as a mom.  Busy - YES.  But also complete with happy, happy memories?  YES.

**I feel like this post was kinda braggy; if so - well yikes, I apologize.**